This year I’m celebrating 10 years as self-employed and I can truly say, hand on heart, that it was the best decision I ever made for myself. I might not get paid on my sick days, receive surprise bonuses or get invited to epic Christmas parties paid for by my boss, but literally nothing beats the feeling of working for myself and setting my own career path. According to the IPSE ( Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) 4.8 million other UK citizens felt exactly the same way, adding £275bn to the economy. Pretty impressive stats!
The season of goodwill is ahead, and while it can be easy to head for the Big Companies and their well-publicised adverts and tempting offers, this year I will be doing my best to support small independent businesses, both in my annual Boudoir inspired Christmas gifts blog and my Christmas present giving in general. If you fancy doing the same, here’s some great ideas for how to support your freelance friends…
Buy a product (or two) from your self-employed friend’s business
The simplest and most effective way to support your self-employed friends who offer products is to make a purchase! Every individual sale will help their business to grow – and in return you get something made with love, from a real person, who will likely give you impeccable customer service because the product you’re buying reflects themselves. Treat yourself to that book. Gift that handmade jewellery. Order two handbags and keep one for yourself!
Gift their services to someone else:
You know what makes a great present? An experience day. Treat a relative to see your friend in that West End theatre production they’re starring in. Go dutch on a joint pamper day with your bestie at your friend’s beauty bar. Or, you know, book your friend a confidence boosting boudoir shoot…
Organise a social event at their venue:
If your friend runs a cool bar, cafe or restaurant, why not arrange a festive meet up with your some of your friends in their venue, or even suggest it as a potential location for your work’s Christmas party. They’ll benefit from you filling up the joint with awesome people spending money and you’ll get bonus points for knowing somewhere cool in town.
Write a Testimonial/Review for their business:
We’ve all bought something on the recommendation of someone else, so why not offer to write a testimonial or review for your freelance friend’s products or services this festive season. If you can’t see a ‘leave a review’ section on their website, ask if you can email them one. A 5 star customer review always beats a humble brag, so you’ll be helping with their marketing no end. (PS. If you want to email me a review, you can do so here)
Give your self-employed friend a Shout Out on Social Media
If you don’t have the time or finances to do any of the above, one of the most incredible things you can do for your self-employed friend is to interact with their social media channels. Share their work on your own profile. Comment on posts. Even just a simple heart on their latest update will make a world of difference. It costs nothing but a few seconds of your time, yet it’ll help more people to ‘see’ their posts. The interaction you give will increase the range of people who’ll see what they are doing without you having to share their page.
Want to know how you can best support me as your self-employed friend right now?